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Miami Heat Getting Ready for the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals

With Saturday’s 106-99 win against the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers are now set to face the Miami Heat for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Game 1 will take place on Wednesday in Miami at 8:30 p.m. ET.

These teams know each other well as they’ve had nine meetings in the last 13 months. This includes last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals with the Heat rallying from a 2-1 deficit in the series before taking the Pacers in six games.

In this year’s regular season, the Pacers defeated the Heat twice on their home court. This came on Jan. 8 with a 87-77 win (Paul George scored 29 points) and then on Feb. 1 with a 102-89 victory (David West had 30 points).

As for the Heat, they did beat the Pacers once this season at home on March 10, 105-91.

During their regular season meetings, rebounding was key for the Pacers are they out-rebounded Miami by 11 rebounds per game, reported the Miami Herald, but looking back to last year’s playoff series, they only had a seven-rebound edge.

For the 2012-2013 season, the Pacers led the NBA in rebounds; this compares to the Heat who sat in last place.

Chris Bosh, who only played 16 minutes in last year’s semifinal series thanks to an injury, said of the Pacers, via The Miami Herald, “Indiana is a bigger team, classic style basketball. They’re going to want to just throw it up off the backboard and go get it.”

This year Bosh is healthy but now it’s the Heat’s Dwyane Wade who’s been battling an injury. While he took time off during Miami’s first round in the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks, it didn’t necessarily help the player’s bruised knee.
Miami Heat LeBron James And Dwyane Wade

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade

Looking ahead to this upcoming series, the Heat will practice on Sunday and Wade expects to participate.

He said to The Miami Herald, “I’ve got to practice with it and play with it so I can know how I feel. I’m mentally strong enough to be able to still be effective. I’m going to continue to play until my body says, ‘All right. You’ve got to go.’ ”

Wade added of the team having a week off once again before they begin play, which had resulted in Game 1 loss against the Chicago Bulls in the last series, said, “I think physically we did everything we could last time. We practiced hard, we prepared. It’s nothing you can do to prepare for game action.

“We hope to come out with a different approach.”

As for the Pacers battling injuries, last year it was Danny Granger who struggled with a knee injury. He missed the majority of the regular season games from its lingering effects and in his absence, it forced the Pacers to rely on greater defense, which has worked out well.
George Hill

George Hill

Now for this year’s postseason, George Hill got a concussion this week and had been questionable for Saturday’s game.

Lucky for the team, he did return after receiving medical clearance on game day–around 90 minutes before its start, reported ProBasketballTalk. In his 42 minutes of play, he had 12 points for the game (2 for 10 shooting) with five rebounds and four assists. His presence was needed to keep the Pacers together and for the night, the team only committed nine turnovers.

Saturday’s win an all-around team effort with Lance Stephenson leading the way in scoring with 25 points (13 shots) and 10 rebounds.

The Pacers know they will face a tough competitor and after Saturday’s win, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said via ESPN, “We’re not satisfied with where we’re at. We feel like there’s no ceiling on this team this year.”

The Heat will enter their new series at -300 to win this year’s Championship per Bovada, while the Pacers sit at +1600.






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